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Old 05-09-19, 08:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Humidity suggestions

My kingsnake Mango is in shed right now and I've heard that keeping the humidity higher (60% or so) can help the process. How do you keep the humidity at the right levels? I've been misting fairly frequently the entire enclosure. Substrate is aspen. Is it enough to just keep a hide with higher humidity or is it better for the entire enclosure at higher humidity?

Just FYI, this is his first shed with me and so I'm not exactly sure what to expect. It's not coming off in one continuous piece like I wws hooing but he seems fine.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 05-10-19, 07:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

It would be easiest for you to provide something called a humid hide. You can take any type of container that isn't clear, be it a margarine container or a plastic hide, and put some damp moss in it. This gives them a place that is nice and humid to aid them with their shed, without having to worry about changing the whole tank or having to mist. The moss should basically be soaked and then wrung out so that no water drips out. Long strain sphagnum moss, peat moss, or any other kind of substrate that holds moisture would be suitable for this.

Edit: Is your snake already shedding? If so, then he is not "in shed" but is in fact shedding. "In shed" is when they go blue or clear up before they shed their skin, and that is the time my above suggestion should be utilised. Snakes should shed in one piece, so keep an eye on yours and make sure that most or all of the skin is shed, especially the eye caps and the tail all the way to the tip.

Last edited by Andy_G; 05-10-19 at 07:54 AM..
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Old 05-10-19, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

My adult kingsnake easily sheds in full in one piece every time. I never add humidity and since he never seemed to used it, I quit adding a humid hide. However, he is in a PVC cage with two water bowls, 1 medium sized and 1 large. The ambient humidity is sometimes higher in his enclosure than that in the room, but it can still be as low as 10% in his cage.

When I got Argyle as a juvenile, he had several seemingly difficult first few sheds. He shed completely on his own but it took a lot of effort on his part. The first one scared me as he appeared to be freaking out in his tank, flailing about, slithering all over the place, rubbing up against everything in his cage, tunneling through the bedding and then surfacing to start the flailing and rubbing all over again. After his first few sheds though, he shed more easily and usually in just two pieces. Later he started consistently shedding in one piece.

Though he had a humid hide in his first little tank, we never saw him using it. (When I upgraded his tank, I didn't bother with the humid hide.) He did like soaking in his larger water bowl a couple times a day. Perhaps that was enough. There are only two things I can think of that might have improved his sheds. One is experience. Perhaps he simply learned a good technique to get out of his old skin. The other thing is that I added items to his enclosure which increased the variety of textures and gave him some rougher surfaces to rub against. That's all just speculation from a novice reptile keeper.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

Andy, thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try. Also, thanks for helping me with the terminology. My snake is in fact shedding and the skin is coming off in bits and pieces. It looks like the eye caps are shed, I can see the color quite vividly. About how long does the whole process take? Because I'd say he actually started shedding two days ago and at least yesterday he was maybe only a third of the way done from what I could observe.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

Once they start shedding, my two adult snakes take anywhere from 90 seconds to 5 minutes. The more difficult sheds my kingsnake has as a baby took as long as 20-30 minutes.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

That's really good information, kudzu, thank you. I'll just keep an eye on him and see what happens. He seems healthy to me, but I'm inexperienced. I've had him only about two weeks now. And he's fairly young from what I understand (5 months?) so maybe he's just really inexperienced because it's been a couple days since I first saw the signs of the skin shedding.
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Old 05-11-19, 08:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

They don't need practice shedding, but they will have problems if the humidity was off during the shed cycle, which is what is happening. I would recommend putting them in a rubbermaid container with some warm (not hot) wet towels. It should help things along, and you may need to help get the pieces off. When a snake sheds, it really should not take any more than a few minutes.
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Old 05-11-19, 06:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

Put her in a Rubbermaid with warm wet paper towels for 15 to 20 minutes and then use a rubber thimble to gently rub the loose skin off.
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Old 05-12-19, 11:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Humidity suggestions

Thanks, Andy (both ot you). I ended up putting him in a small container with a bit of water and that did the trick. I'll make sure I get a humid hide going next time I notice him in shed.
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